AIRE Lion 14 Cataraft review by TBP

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    Lee Arbach TBP

    AIRE Cataraft Lion 14 and 16 series catarafts have extra big diameters and waterlines that comprise a higher percentage of the total tube length. The idea is to provide the highest load capacities with the shallowest draft possible. In the case of the fourteen foot Lion 14 your rig will also pivot very quickly. This makes it ideal both for folks who run technical class IV and V rivers, as well as anglers or rowers suffering low snowpack years in their area. Fly fishers rarely practice their sport at high flows, so a cat that can negotiate extra-shallow streams is always a plus.

    As with any of the big diameter high buoyancy catarafts, if you enjoy high flow rivers, there will be a propensity for this type of boat to get surfed like a bobber if it’s not weighted down. In other words, if most of your runs are day trips, choose something with a somewhat smaller diameter.
    AIRE Catarafts Lion 14 Comes in Three Colors

    Only three of AIRE’s usual six colors are available for the Lions; dark green, blue and red. Also, the photo above is actually the sixteen foot Lion because we don’t have any pics of the fourteen footer.
    Urethane Option for AIRE Catarafts Lion 14

    The Lion 14 is available in an extra-tough urethane material for $1,340 more, though this is not something we or AIRE ever have on hand. That’s way this option is not on the shopping cart; the lead times can vary greatly. Give us a phone call if you are interested and we will check how long it will take. Whether it is worth spending half again as much money to upgrade to urethane is debatable. The abrasion resistance in the water is far higher, and the base fabric is beefier, so you get an even stiffer tube. That said the standard pvc AIRE’s are mighty stiff as it is.

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